Platinum End: Hajime Represents the True Depravity of God Candidates

WARNING: the following contains spoilers for Platinum End Episode 9, "The Face of an Assassin," now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Another God candidate joins the heavenly battle royale, a peculiar young man named Hajime Sokotani who views the vicious Metropoliman as a true role model and hero. It's true that Metropoliman cultivated a heroic image in the public eye at first, but Hajime respects Metropoliman for more reasons than that.

Mirai Kakehashi has since formed a team with Mukaido and Saki, but now Metropoliman has his first major ally to call his own, and this duo threatens everything Mirai and Mukaido hold dear. In the process, Hajime shows just how depraved he is, which calls into question every angel's judgment about humanity.

hajime with hostages platinum end

Metropoliman only used the sadistic "Girl A" as a decoy and a tool, but his newest ally, Hajime Sokotani, sets himself apart with his ruthless, cunning, and thoughtful methods. Unlike Girl A, who was an average knife-wielding serial killer, Hajime is a God candidate who has the patience to prepare days or weeks ahead of time to get what he wants. Hajime establishes himself as a villain at heart, from a combination of his cold and calculating methods and his grim origin story. As a boy, Hajime had zero self-esteem or confidence, owing to his unusually bad looks and how everyone, family included, soundly rejected him. As many villains before him do, Hajime seeks to strike back and tear apart the world that gave him absolutely nothing.

In a flashback, Hajime meets a handsome angel named Balta who grants him red arrows and wings. Hajime uses them to get plastic surgery and a general makeover to transform his appearance. But that's not enough for him. He begins to idolize Metropoliman on the news broadcasts, seeing Metropoliman as the paragon of good looks, courage, intelligence, and confidence. These are all traits Hajime wants for himself, so he approaches Metropoliman as an ally. Metropoliman uses him to capture Mukaido's family and thus lure out Mukaido and Mirai to a new battlefield. The whole time, Balta acts as Hajime's enabler, which speaks volumes about that particular angel.

Hajime's and Balta's actions and plans reveal a great deal about the two of them, none of it good. The angels vary somewhat in their personalities, from Baret's gentle and wise disposition to Nasse's brutal but playful attitude, and Revel's protective, big brotherly attitude toward Saki. Balta, meanwhile, proves himself an even more twisted version of Nasse who continuously enables Hajime's extreme and selfish methods to no end.

Balta chose Hajime based on intuition, as he claims in the episode, and he believes that Hajime should make for an interesting God candidate and potential God. However, Hajime's personality and desires are twisted by alienation, self-loathing, and desperation, and while these make for an exciting fighter he would be a terrible potential ruler of the heavens. Most likely, Balta chose Hajime for fun, to cruelly watch the most desperate humans tear each other apart with heavenly gifts. Balta is more like an underground fight club manager than an agent of God.

Hajime, meanwhile, makes it clear that his misfortunes left permanent mental scars on him. It's true that most God candidates were at a low point when their respective angels approached them, but even then, Hajime chooses to commit heinous acts for his own selfish reasons. This included taking a child and pregnant woman hostage to manipulate Mukaido and impress Metropoliman. Hajime's remorseless actions, and idolization of Metropoliman, establish him as one of Mirai's and Mukaido's worst enemies, with no clear route to redemption.

Most likely, either the heroes will take him down, Metropoliman will kill him to tie up a loose end, or Metro will reject Hajime, driving the latter to take his own life in despair. One way or another, this cannot end well for Hajime at all.

10 naruto in normal sage mode
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